• Firearms law expert Simon Munslow answers a reader's question about the legality of 'Bow-Mags'.
    Firearms law expert Simon Munslow answers a reader's question about the legality of 'Bow-Mags'.
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I have received a couple of calls about the legality of a device called the ‘Bow Mag’ that screws onto the end of an arrow shaft.  It enables a .38 or .357 Magnum cartridge to be seated, and be fired when an animal is struck by the arrow.

It therefore represents an interesting archers variation on the familiar diver’s power head, but unlike the power head, is constructed of plastic with a metal firing pin.

Anybody importing these items without a permit is likely to find themselves breaking the law.

In NSW, a firearm is defined in S4 of the Firearms Act 1996 as a ‘gun, or other weapon that is (or at any time was) capable of propelling a projectile by means of an explosive’.  The second call was from a Victorian, and you would be similarly caught by the definition of a firearm in s3 of the Victorian Firearms Act 1996.

The other issue that you are likely to face is in respect to the possession of ammunition.

There is a review on You Tube that suggests that they may not be worth the $US 40 plus shipping price (see below).

Their test shows that without a barrel, the .357 Magnum round did not have an opportunity to accelerate to an optimal velocity and therefore would only penetrate 1/8 inch into a telephone book, leaving the testers to speculate that they appeared more likely to injure game rather than kill it cleanly.

They also found that the Bow Mag often destroyed the arrow shaft.

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